The Non-Profit Leadership Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato is a phenomenal multidisciplinary program that changes students’ outlook on the community and enhances their professional opportunities in the non-profit sector.
Professor Kristi Rendahl, the director of the Non-Profit Leadership Program, whose has a lot of experience working in the non-profit sector for over 20 years, took on the program at the beginning of the academic year last fall.
“I hope to bring a global perspective to the program as I have worked both in the U.S. as well as overseas and feel a sense of accomplishment passing knowledge on to young minds,” Rendahl said.
Rendahl sheds some more light on the program and how it is beneficial to students at MNSU.
“The program is available to undergraduate students in the form of either a certificate, which is 18 credits, or a minor, which is 21 credits,” Rendahl said. “For graduate students, there is a graduate certificate which is 15 credits.”
The NPL Program has two foundational courses: NPL 273, Introduction to Non-Profit Leadership, which is a 3-credit course that is ideally the first course students would take. After that, there is NPL 473, Advanced Workshop in NPL, which is another 3-credit course.
“These are the two basic requirements for the program, along with an internship,” Rendahl said. “The internship can be completed in any of the participating departments as the NPL program is multi-disciplinary.”
The main departments that directly participate in the NPL Program include: Sociology, Urban Studies, Recreation Parks and Leisure Services, Gender and Women Studies, and Social Work. Rendahl states that in the NPL Program there are three categories of electives: Program Planning and Evaluation, Program Administration, and Financial Management and Development.
“The key difference between a certificate and a minor for undergraduates is that, for the certificate one would take one course from each category offered by different departments, and for the minor one would just add an additional course from any category,” said Rendahl.
“The program can be completed online, however, this does not mean every course is offered online, thus it is important for students to plan ahead and make sure courses are available for them to take beforehand,” Rendahl said.
Rendahl states that Non-Profit Leadership pairs superbly with several degrees and the program would without a doubt give students an added edge in the job market.
There will be a non-profit panel during the Career and Internship Day that will be available to students to acquire more information or ask any questions they may have on Feb. 13. This will take place in CSU 203 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Rendahl states that there will be several people with different educational backgrounds illustrating how numerous careers intersect with the non-profit sector, thus the event will be highly beneficial to students.
“The NPL Program has consistently grown over the years and interest is gradually growing among students to enroll in the program,” Rendahl said.
Professor Rendahl is keen on making the NPL Program reputable at MNSU and is highly active in finding any missing links as well as improving the program wherever needed. Non-profits worldwide truly make significant impact everyday by serving their communities wholeheartedly and taking the NPL Program at MNSU would be an excellent stepping stone to any student to also become part of that trend.